Sports

Sacred Heart Prep continues WCAL water polo supremacy

 

The Sacred Heart Prep boys and girls water polo teams each finished their West Catholic Athletic regular-seasons on a successful note Wednesday.

They both completed their league schedule with 6-0 records, securing the top seed for the league tournament that begins Oct. 24.

The girls made it easy on themselves, beating visiting Presentation, 11-3, as Maddy Johnston scored four times and Layla Waters added three.

The SH Prep boys went the dramatic route. Alex Tsotadze scored with 11 seconds remaining to play to lift the Gators past host Bellarmine, 9-8.

The Bells took a 7-6 lead into the fourth quarter as neither team ever held more than a one-goal advantage throughout.

Jackson Enright scored his only goal of the contest with 4:53 remaining to tie it and Larsen Weigle scored the go-ahead goal less than two minutes later.

Bellarmine drew an exclusion from Weigle with 90 seconds left to play and Nicky Fontes took advantage 14 seconds later to tie the game. The Bells got the ball back with 47 seconds left and called timeout to set up a play.

Gators' goalie JC Marco recorded 12 saves and made two steals and combined with his defenders to turn back Bellarmine's designed play in the final minute and open the way for Tsotadze's heroics.

There were only two lead changes all day but the score was tied eight times. Tsotadze netted a team-high three goals, with his first two in power-play situations. The Gators went 2-of-8 in man-advantage situations while limiting Bellarmine to 3-of-6.

Weigle also converted a penalty shot to put Sacred Heart Prep ahead, 4-3, late in the first half. The Bells responded with a goal to send the game into halftime tied at 4.

Walker Seymour also converted a penalty shot and Andrew Churukian added two goals.

The Gators have won or shared nine of the previous 10 league titles.

Sacred Heart Prep (12-4 overall) will be participating in the North-South Invitational this weekend, opening with Dana Hills at 11:30 a.m. The Gators will also take part in the Bellarmine Memorial Invitational the following weekend before league playoffs.

The SH Prep girls (12-6) celebrated Senior Day with the win over the visiting Panthers. Jane Rakow recorded eight saves, Maddie Pendolino added a pair and Annabel Facey and Nadia Paquin also scored.

Sacred Heart Prep is looking for its third straight WCAL title and its 12th overall.

The Gators aren't staying idle either, meeting Clovis West and host Clovis for a Saturday doubleheader and then hosting the NorCal Championship Tournament just ahead of league playoff.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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